by writer/director Adam Leon
In making Gimme the Loot, we set out to tell a story that captured all of our lives, our experiences and our City with the aim of taking an audience on a ride they haven’t been on before.
I wanted to make a story about working class teenagers I knew who lead these very vivid lives with tough backgrounds and many hardships, but are not necessarily miserable people. Instead most are young, vibrant individuals who have their struggles but are ultimately “just kids.” And so I wanted to create a thrilling and warm-hearted adventure of a movie set in this world, that while staying true to who these characters are, focused more on the joys of youth rather than the peril of it. In some ways, by telling a lighthearted, universal story of youth, I hoped to humanize these characters even more than a traditional “social alarmist” film. For me, these teenagers are not props for an agenda—they are real people who are allowed to make mistakes, enjoy themselves, succeed and fail, fall in love, be stupid, be clever, etc.
In making the movie it was key for us to use the advantages we had. I wrote roles for people I knew, used locations we had access to, and relied on a wonderful team of friends and peers. But we also tried to turn our disadvantages, mainly an ultra-low budget, into an advantage. We embraced the idea that Gimme the Loot should feel like a first movie, that its story and style should be told with non-professional actors; hopefully that’s part of the charm of the movie.
This style creates a certain level of authenticity in the film, in terms of those characters and the actors themselves, along with the setting, the graffiti art and the language. At the same time it was essential for us to embrace the idea that while we were telling the story in an actual environment, this is a movie. So whether it’s the music choices, the shot selection or the comedic elements, the movie is not meant to be a pseudo-documentary. I wanted to take an authentic world and experience and portray it in a fun way.
Since Gimme the Loot’s premiere we’ve been able to take the film to festivals all over the country and play internationally, including everywhere from Cannes to Argentina to India. We’ve been so overwhelmed by the responses from audiences who connect with universal themes in what is still a “hometown” film. The journey with this movie has been blessed, but for us to be able to present the film in a theatrical run is literally a dream come true and we’re genuinely excited to have you discover Gimme the Loot!